“The single most important thing a finance company needs to be on top of is the complaint management system. That’s the pulse of what’s going on in your company.” according to Jack Tracey, Executive Director of NAF. Get an even broader pulse on the industry overall by checking out the results from The FTC’s annual consumer complaints report.
Federal Trade Commission’s 2017 Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book aggregates data from the Consumer Sentinel Network, a secure online database that collects reports from across the United States. Law enforcement agencies throughout the country use Sentinel to look for patterns in consumer finance and go after companies and individuals suspected of fraud, identity theft, and other illegal acts. The Sentinel Data Book opens this information up to the rest of us, offering insight into key industry and regulatory trends.
The report tallied 2.7 million complaints in 2017, with losses suffered by consumers were reaching $905 million.
There’s a lot for lenders to chew on here. 2.68 million is still a staggering number of consumer complaints, and the related losses indicate that fraud, identity theft, and other unfair, deceptive, and abusive acts and practices are no small nuisance for consumers.
Financial services organizations should take some time to read through the Sentinel Data Book. Yes, it’s 99 pages long, but most of it is charts and infographics, and it’s a rare opportunity to explore the data driving lawmakers’ decisions.
Because industries receiving a large number of complaints are more likely to draw a regulator’s attention, minimizing the number of consumers who complain to the FTC, CFPB, or other consumer watchdogs is an essential first step to reducing potential exposure.